The Major League Baseball trade deadline is fast approaching (4 PM EST). With several deals already completed, a few last second moves could be in store.
The top name available in the trade market was Chicago’s right-handed pitcher Jake Peavy, but a three-team deal is in place that will send him to the Boston Red Sox: Boston sent shortstop José Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers who are planning to lose current SS Jhonny Peralta when MLB releases all suspensions stemming from the biogenesis scandal; the Tigers traded outfielder Avisail Garcia and pitcher Brayan Villarreal to the Boston Red Sox who in turn sent Garcia to the White Sox to complete the deal.
20-game winner Ian Kennedy is being traded to the San Diego Padres, not far from his hometown in Huntington, California. Reliever Joe Thatcher, AA pitcher Matt Stites and a compensatory-round draft pick are heading back to the Arizona Diamondback for Kennedy’s services.
A few other smaller trades have been completed. Los Angeles Angels infielder Alberto Callaspo was dealt to the Oakland Athletics for minor league infielder Grant Green. The Angels traded lefty specialist Scott Downs to the Atlanta Braves for minor league pitcher Corey Rasmus. The White Sox moved pitcher Jesse Crain to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be determined.
Outside of that, not many big trades have been made official yet. But a few interesting names remain on the market.
Michael Young, the Philadelphia Phillies infielder, has been rumored to teams such as the New York Yankees and the Red Sox, but he has a no-trade clause in his contract and doesn’t appear to be willing to move cities mid-season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the midst of a fine season, one that could end their historic playoff drought. So they’ve become big-time buyers at the trade deadline and have been trying to reel in a big bat to give their anemic offense a lift. Players like Mark Trumbo of the Angels and White Sox outfielder Alex Rios have been the main targets for the Pirates. Trumbo has 23 homeruns on the season and would help the Pirates slug their way into the playoffs.
The Chicago Cubs aren’t likely done selling. After trading Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers and Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees last week, they will probably unload a few more players as they completely commit to their rebuilding phase. Nate Schierholtz could be on his way out along with David DeJesus. Both outfielders have flexible salary options for 2014 — which is attractive for teams looking for low-risk, high-reward type players.
The Yankees are buyers at the deadline, as usual, but they are also looking to unload a few players. Struggling righty starter Phil Hughes has been on the radar of a few teams. The 27-year-old was once the #1 rated prospect in the Yankees system and has had a fair amount of success in New York, but pitching in the smaller Yankee stadium and being a fly ball pitcher has resulted in giving up 1.61 homeruns per nine innings — an eye-popping mark. The Yankees have a wealth of arms in the minor leagues ready to fill Hughes’ spot in the rotation.
The American League East will likely be the most active as the deadline closes. The Red Sox, Rays, Yankees and Orioles have all completed deals in the last week and the Toronto Blue Jays are looking to make a splash of their own. They brought in a lot of talent in the offseason, but it has produced a last place team thus far. They are trying to shore up their middle infield by giving José Reyes a new double-play partner: Howard Kendrick of the L.A. Angels. The Angels, however, seem reluctant to trade the talented Kendrick.
The MLB trade deadline, like most trade deadlines in professional sports often produce deals at the deadline that were completely unexpected — so there are a multitude of possible trades that could come through at the wire.